Philippe Cousteau, Jr.’s EarthEcho International Collaborates with Youth of Color to Build Careers in the Blue Economy

Washington, DC (July 31, 2023) EarthEcho International, the leading nonprofit dedicated to building a global youth movement to protect and restore our ocean planet, is pleased to announce the 2023 class of its ResilienSEA Externship program. This inaugural program unites 19 youth, ages 17-20, from BIPOC communities across North America, for a hands-on career development experience. The initiative introduces participants to the field of regenerative ocean aquaculture – ocean “farming” that restores coastal habitats while creating both economic and ecological benefits. The ResilienSEA Externship program is made possible through the generous support of La Mer Blue Heart Oceans Fund and The Estée Lauder Companies Travel Retail division.

EarthEcho International recognizes the power of the ocean as a source of solutions to the climate crisis. All of humanity is connected to the ocean, but access to our ocean and the opportunity to pursue careers that contribute to ocean-based climate solutions is a privilege that all do not enjoy equally.

“Often the communities most vulnerable to sea level rise and increasingly intense storms are those whose members have been cut off to daily access to waters that are vital to their communities for both cultural and economic reasons,” said Stacey Rafalowski, Chief Program Officer, EarthEcho International. “We look forward to working with this talented group of young people in their journey to make a lasting impact in their communities and beyond.”

Through an ongoing, eight-week virtual program, and an in-person convening in San Diego, CA, this August, the paid ResilienSEA Externship provides participants with an opportunity to learn from and network with professionals in the field of regenerative ocean aquaculture and seaweed innovation, participate in a hands-on job shadowing experience, and engage in peer learning to build confidence and competence to take action in externs’ home communities, with a focus on using entrepreneurship to tackle ocean health challenges.

The 2023 ResilienSEA externs represent communities in Canada and the United States:

  • Akhila Mahidhara, Edison, NJ, USA
  • Emilia Fiebel, Hollywood, FL, USA
  • Iredia Otoadese, Fanny Bay, BC, Canada
  • Ishaani Srivastava, Piscataway, NJ, USA
  • Jin Hu, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Kassandra Chavarria Sosa, Burnaby, BC, Canada
  • Kendall Ford, Jacksonville, FL, USA
  • Lauren Ejiaga, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Mugdha Chiplunkar, Duvall, WA, USA
  • Natalie Martinez, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
  • Nina Shetty, Sammamish, WA, USA
  • Nitya Masina, Sammamish, WA, USA
  • Rajaa Berry, LaSalle, ON, Canada
  • Sarika Sawant, Glendale, AZ, USA
  • Serenity Washington, Cape Coral, FL, USA
  • Skye Garrett, Capitol Heights, MD, USA
  • Sofía Lammot Pérez, Dorado, PR, USA
  • Srinivas Gollapudi, Upland, CA, USA
  • Violet Smith, Columbia, MD, USA

For more information about the ResilienSEA externs please visit

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Media Contact:

Bryan Hughes